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Everything posted by arlodog

  1. We really enjoyed the UDP when we were on Symphony. You can go to one of the restaurants and make your reservations for the entire week once you board. Just a heads up, we tried to walk up for lunch at one of the restaurants on a sea day--I think it was Jamie's or Chops, and they told us we had to have reservation. We also did the chefs table--discounted with the UDP. We are not big foodies, but really enjoyed the experience.
  2. You can also carry your own soda on board along with your water and buy a coffee card. I believe it is only $30. I buy one because I like iced coffees. It doesn't work at Starbucks, but if he is ok with McDonalds coffee (me too) it works.
  3. We did UDP last year for the first time. We did all of our dinner reservations the first day and had no problem getting what we wanted, but did have to adjust some of the times. They book up fast! What we didn't know to do was make lunch reservations on sea days. Even though the restaurants were not full, we couldn't just walk into Chops and eat lunch. We also used the discount on chef's table and really enjoyed it. Make sure to try Wonderland. We weren't sure from looking at the menu, but we liked it. The hibachi grill will book up quickly so make sure if that is something you want you book it first. We never thought we would like all the specialty dining as much as we did. We are not usually "foodies" but the difference in the experience and service was worth it to us.
  4. We were a group of 13 on a family cruise with MTD. We made reservations ahead of time and linked all the rooms prior to boarding. I didn't think we would all be able to sit together since we were such a large group, but we went the first night and they were able to accommodate us with a small wait. After that we had a set time to come and they always had "our" table ready for us. It was a great time even for the kids. They enjoyed getting dressed up for dinner (except our 15 year old grandson) but he did wear a suit for formal night 🙂 Threats of death may have been made by his parents. Now all the grandkids are asking when they can go on another cruise.
  5. We stayed in central Rome and loved how close everything was. I was stunning to walk around a corner and see the Panthenon or Trevi fountain. We stayed at this hotel https://www.9-hotel-cesari-rome.it/en/page/rooms-suites.6817.html which as been updated since our stay 8 years ago. I checked and it should be within your budget. Breakfast on the terrace was a fun way to start our day. We usually had a cocktail in the evening after walking around all day. We were able to walk to the coliseum and were able to catch a bus (the front desk staff explained which one to catch) to go to the Vatican. It is in a great location. Our only problem was it was down a side street and our first day when we arrived at around 9am (after an overnight flight) we took off walking and didn't have GPS/cell service with international service. We walked in circles for about an hour trying to find our hotel. 🙂 Fun memory now, but at the time we were tired, hungry and just wanted a nap. Enjoy Rome. We are planning on going back this fall--so much to see and do!
  6. We bought one last June for a family trip. We booked it into the room with 1 adult and 2 kids. We were able to get family photos this way. We just made sure that someone from the room was in each photo. It worked well for us.
  7. We were on Harmony in November, but didn't have our grandkids with us this trip. There is plenty of free things for a 10 year old to do. They do have Adventure Ocean (I think that is the name on Royal) for kids that is free too. There is no charge unless you leave them past a certain time. We took our 5 grandkids on Liberty in June (ages 17-8) None of them wanted to go to the kids area. They spent their time hanging out with us or their parents in the evenings. The sports courts are open, mini golf, ping pong, getting pizza or just hanging out in the room. Plenty to do on all the ships to keep kids busy. They were so tired after all the day activities, keeping them entertained at night wasn't a problem!
  8. We were there last November and again in June. I will check the bill when we go again this November for the "kitchen tip". We do tip well when we go, but hate it when restaurants add things to the bill.
  9. We buy the full sized beers. The smaller ones are the 6 for $6. No charge for the chairs. Tax is supposed to be included in prices posted on the menu in Mexico. Just "remind" anyone who tries to add tax of the law and that you will make a report to Profeco. Sounds like they added a tip to your total. Here is an explanation of how to read a receipt in Mexico. https://yucalandia.com/2019/07/08/mexicos-curious-rules-for-listing-prices/ Sometimes it may look like they are adding taxes, but they are just breaking it out. Their receipts are different than ours in the US. We have not had a problem here. Carlos and Charlies in Cozumel did add a tip to the receipt when we went there. We didn't tip extra.
  10. We have taken our grand daughter on 3 cruises with us and she doesn't have a passport. All you need is an original state issued birth certificate with a raised seal. You can't use a hospital one. We also had her mom sign the paperwork required by the ship and took a copy of the original court order giving her sole custody. They never asked us for the paperwork allowing us to take her with us on any of the cruises. In June we took all of our grand kids (none had passports) on a cruise with their biological Dad and my daughter (step mom to 4 of them, bio to 1) We had asked them to get bio mom to 4 to sign paperwork before we left (they didn't) and it wasn't needed. I warned them that if Royal asked for it and they didn't have it then they would be left at the pier with 4 crying kids...and grandma was still going on the cruise! Go and make memories with your grandkid. You won't regret it!
  11. The video shows what our experiences have been like at Krazy Lobster we were there last November and again in June. The water is clear (not perfect--occasionally you do have the seaweed) the way it was a few years ago before they had all the problems with the sargassum. Our grandkids loved the kayaks (free) and there are snorkeling excursions that are available if you want to go out in a boat just a bit down the beach from there. We brought a pail from the dollar store and the kids made sandcastles and used goggles to "snorkel" from the beach. It was their first time in the ocean so they were impressed. We just gave the pail to some other kids when they were done with it. I will warn you that they place the taxi's line up to take you back to the ship is located by where a sewage smell was horrible in June. Walk fast! We didn't smell it at the beach club. We have also been to Blue Kay and Tropicante a few times when Steve the old owner had that beach club. Watch out for El Faro. All the beach clubs are close together so you don't really know which restaurant table you are at if you aren't paying attention. We love stopping at Costa Maya. It's just a relaxing day for us. Karen
  12. Krazy Lobster has baffled nets up to keep the seaweed away from their beach. I believe that many of the beach clubs do. We like Krazy Lobster because you pay as you go. For the two of us we usually spend about $50 total for the day for food and drinks. Beers are $2. Mixed drinks cost more. Food is good and massages on the beach are $20 for an hour. Very relaxing day.
  13. Thanks Biker. Guess we will give it a shot and see how it works!
  14. They have dropped our surf and stream package to $11.99 a day for a November sailing. I have read various reports about Starlink and am wondering if maybe this may be why. Maybe testing capacity by increasing usage? We are doing a B2B and our 2nd leg is 8 days with only 3 ports so we bought it. Has anyone had success bringing a Rouku or Firestick and streaming on their TV? We use youtube TV at home. I believe I have read various reports that you can bring a universal remote/HDMI cable? There is no Playmakers so we were hoping to be able to relax in the room and watch some games and keep up on our favorite shows. Thanks in advance for any tips or tricks!
  15. On the first day after you board you need to go and sign the kids up. Good chance for them to see the area and become familiar with staff and area. Adventure ocean is not open all day. They have a morning session, afternoon session and then evening session. Basically breaks for meals where you can take them and after they are done they can return. I'm sure each ship is slightly different on the times they are open. It is capacity controlled and depending on how much staff they have. They adhere to a limit of staff vs kids ratio. They usually are open during port days but you will have to check for the times on your sailing. Our granddaughter loved it when she was 4. She didn't want to go again this summer (8 years old) when we sailed with the whole family as she wanted to do the "big kids stuff" like slides, pool, ice skating ect...
  16. Both are safe and have great things for little kids to do. In Roatan we took our granddaughter (3) to the iguana farm and beach. We booked with Victor Bodden for a private tour in case she didn't want to do something we could move on. We also did the Monkey Business and she was talking about how funny the monkey's were for a year afterward! In Costa Maya there is plenty to do at the pier. They have a pool and aviary. There are also dolphins you can watch. If you want to go to the beach Taxi's are readily available for $4pp each way. We enjoy Krazy Lobster and just took all our grandkids there in June. Beach to play on while adults can get an hour long massage for $20. Great easy beach day. Food is good and easy to get to once you find your way out of the port (it's kind of a maze as they really want you to stay there to spend your money)
  17. We were on Liberty in June for our 3rd sailing on her. She is showing her age and does need a dry dock for carpets, updates ect. The staff was amazing and went out of the way to ensure we had a great trip. Especially the MDR. We were a group of 12 and our first night they combined all our reservations together and set us up with the same table/wait staff every night so we could enjoy our meal together. They remembered our drink preferences and that our youngest grand daughter wanted spaghetti every single night with chocolate cake for desert 🙂 Was it gourmet dining? No, but the grands had a great time and that is what counts! We have priceless family memories (and no one noticed the little things like paint/carpets ect...) We will be going on Harmony for our next cruise and are looking to sailing a newer ship without the whole family; but wouldn't have changed our Liberty cruise for anything!
  18. We just sailed on Liberty in June and when we got on board they were funneling people directly to their muster stations to check in when you walked on. Pretty smart! You didn't walk into the ship promenade like normal. They did the normal announcement of this is what the emergency alarm will sound like before we left. I noticed that there were not multiple announcements of people not completing the muster check in this way like it was back in November on Symphony! I love the new muster concept. One great thing that COVID did 🙂!
  19. We are doing our first B2B in November because I can't justify paying $600pp for airfare for 1 week (at least that is what I am telling myself 🙂 ) We are looking forward to it!
  20. We just got off Liberty a week ago with our kids and grandkids 12, 13, 15 and 17. They never went to the kids club and found lots to keep them busy. The boys played pick up games of basketball in the evenings. The girls went to some of the shows, ice skating and flow rider and played miniature golf. They all liked the slides. They wanted to join us all in the main dining room ( I thought they would want to do windjammer, but they seemed to enjoy the main dinners) There was a lot to do onboard for them.
  21. Don't wait the 7 days. Someone else posted that they were also part of this silly IT issue and didn't make the payment and their cruise was cancelled. Pay it and wait for the refund. Shouldn't take long, but if it does you can dispute it with your credit card. Screen shot your zero balance with a date/time stamp as proof.
  22. On our Med cruise we had a very active roll call and we booked most of our excursions with people we connected with before the cruise to help with costs. We had a blast and met some really great people on that cruise. We shared transport costs with private guides/drivers. People would just post a tour that they found and ask if anyone else was interested in joining them. One of our favorites was a walking food tour which we had never done before. We have since looked for them in all of the ports we go to as a great way to try local restaurants and learn a bit about the local customs/culture. Otherwise we rely on Trip Advisor or a google search to find private tour guides. We don't do the ships excursions. We find them too expensive for what you get. We enjoy a smaller group tour if at all possible.
  23. They will provide you with a sharps container. You can request the distilled water and extension cord from your room steward once on board. Just notify special needs department of all of your needs before you sail. They have a form you can fill out. The medicine probably won't stay cool enough in their mini-fridge, but you can get ice from the room steward and keep it cool that way. Happy sailing!
  24. Thanks for all the quick replies. I will keep an eye out for the confirmation and give it some time before I call directly to see if we have a room. We don't sail until November. Hotel prices are crazy compared to pre-pandemic!
  25. How long does it take for Valuetrips to process the requests? It says 3 business days, but my card has not been charged and I don't have a confirmation email yet. Thanks!
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